19 years and counting
A favorite yet very blurry photo taken last March
5-9-93...yep! Some of you guys were probably running around in diapers. We met at 17 and by 18 we were already business partners, hand painting antiques for super high end antique shops in the area. This evolved into painting murals for country clubs, homes, and eateries, all while custom painting bedroom sets and the like right from our little apartment. We were always go-go-going. We had our van and took it wherever whenever. NYC was way different in those years...there were still tiny pockets of independently owned and operated shops. Soho and Noho were brimming with art, antiques, and the absolute latest in home decor. We'd just drive in...scope out some shops...meet the owners and/or buyers...show them what we do...and just like that we'd be working with them...soon seeing our own stuff for sale in those same shops! By age 23 we were so deep into our little field of expertise...we were in a bunch of magazines, had an antique booth, a long list of celebrity clients, a store with our own line of furniture, (I just came across this old newspaper article on us...funny!) dozens of shops across the country carried our line...we were doing so so much. Two best friends working so HARD but loving it...getting absolutely zero sleep. I'm dating myself so much here...but I remember us just doing so much driving...(and what I mean by 'dating myself', is that gas prices nowadays would prohibit such whimsical behavior)...the highways and byways of NJ, NY, CT, PA...we'd trace lines on maps and just go. We pretty much grew up together...we met and together we formed the adult people we would become. Our first apartment, our first car...so many firsts, so many memories, and so many ups and downs.
Probably at the moment when our plates were fullest, when we were doing so so much living, Aaron got into a near fatal car crash. In an instant our world stopped spinning. We were doing enough work for 5 people...and next thing ya know Aaron was in rehab and we were thrilled if he was able to use his walker to get to the bathroom and back. From 90 mph right down to zero. And it took some getting used to. A whole lot of surgery over the next couple years and all the laid-up time that followed. Those are the ingredients for a three layer depression cake frosted with whipped anxiety.
But changes come and you adapt. Being laid-up meant no more heavy lifting for Aar. So doing hand painted furniture was out. In that little cluster of years spent mostly at home is when we started selling our artwork on Ebay...back in the days before etsy. I discovered blogs and this fab online world that didn't require all the heavy lifting of our previous life. We switched up everything we did...but artists should be able to do that. If you just stay true and do the work that you need to do...the work that comes straight from your soul. There certainly were growing pains...and shrinking pains too I guess.
And here we are today. 19 years sounds like such a long long time! We're just rolling through another loop on the rollercoaster of life. It's still J & A. Still best friends...thinking of the future...living for today.
Happy Anniversary Aaron...I love you to bits and bits and bits!